// Blog Archive

Good afternoon dear friends and partners in the Gospel-

This week has been one of amazing blessing and intense struggle. Jennifer and my wonderful boys have been joyfully serving the Lord alongside some special friends from New Covenant Bible Church. God’s timing of our home church being in Honduras to serve is unbelievable! The team has been a special encouragement to Jennifer and the boys this week.The team has been leading evangelistic VBS activities near the future church site, and what I have heard is really encouraging. Since the neighborhood is curious about us, it is great that we are clearly able to identify ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ! Our prayer is that these interactions will result in young people being exposed to the Gospel, and now or later in life, choosing to accept Christ as their savior!

This past week, I felt led to step away from ministry in Honduras to provide pastoral care and support to my Mom and Dad. Mom seems to be in her final days of struggle against the aggressive ‘cancer’ enemy. (Mom’s Caring Bridge site tells a little about this journey of sanctification)God graciously used a dear family friend to provide airline miles to fly me up to be in Rockford, Illinois, to walk down this difficult road with Mom, Dad, Rachel, and Shane. The days have been long as her pain and discomfort are intense. Continue to pray with us that God mercifully ushers us into His presence soon.

Please pray for our family as we thank God for all He is doing, yet are having our faith tested in ways that we’ve never experienced in our 16 years of marriage. Letting go of Mom is the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced.

Likewise, we covet your prayers as God is at work in Honduras in ways we never could have asked Him for! New Covenant youth finished their construction work for the week, and will continue VBS ministry through Sunday. The following week, Central Christian Church from Beloit, Wisconsin, will put boots on the group to continue the investment of sweat and tears (hopefully not blood) in preparing the Tegucigalpa land for us to use it as a regular place of worship and Gospel outreach. At the same time, God is sending us some extra help from Noah Reed, a summer intern from Carpinteria, California.

We also face some financial challenges and would be grateful to you as our faithful support team for sharing our ministry with other friends and family who might be willing to come alongside us in this season. A recent move to a new rental house has brought with it significant costs and challenges, plus personal and family health events have impacted our support levels. It is also inevitable that Jennifer and the kids will need to travel to join the family in the coming days, so we have some additional needs beyond our normal expenses.

 

As always, our trust is in the Lord and our hearts are filled with gratitude for the way in which His people generous share with us.

With love and gratitude to God and His people,

 

Matthew, for Jennifer too

 

If you would like to ask others on our behalf, our family Web site can be a good way to introduce us. www.divineadventure.net

Gifts can be given via www.uwm.org or mail sent to: United World Mission 
PO Box 602002
 Charlotte, NC 28260-2002

All gifts can be designated for Matthew & Jennifer Allen and are tax-deductible per IRS guidelines.

24 Sep / A quick update

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Author: Matthew
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I know it has not been long since our last newsletter, but lots of things are going on in our lives and ministry that we would like to share with you. We are grateful to have you standing behind us, celebrating the victories that God brings about, and also shouldering the weight of spiritual challenges with us.

Please take the time to read about some specific things that you can be praying about.

Changes with Latin America Mission

Jennifer and I have been associated with Latin America Mission (LAM) in some capacity for over six years, during our time in Costa Rica and again since departing for Honduras. We appreciate their model for partnering with the Latin Church, as North Americans, supporting the work of spreading the Gospel. With a rich heritage of over 80 years in Gospel work, LAM is closing a chapter in its history, and is merging with United World Mission (UWM). While this agency is new to us, we have heard good things from friends at New Covenant Bible Church, and others with experience in missions. For those of you who have not received communication from United World Mission regarding your generous support of our family, please take a moment to visit this Web page: http://www.uwm.org/WelcomeLAM

The official merger will take place as of January 1st, 2014, and until that time, we ask that you continue your giving as usual to LAM. You should receive information in the coming weeks about how to update your giving through UWM for 2014.

We appreciate your continued support and want to thank you for your investment in Kingdom business through the work of United World Mission.

Upcoming Ministry Initiatives

Training of Christian Workers

In Casitas, we will be baptizing several church members, and so the coming weeks with be focused on teaching basic doctrines. Pray for Melvin and I as we alternate Thursdays, and preach on the Biblical basis for our faith in Christ. Next week, I will be preaching on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, and you can imagine that there are just a few passages I will need to be studying in the coming days!

During the Thursday discipleship time at Casitas, Melvin and I are team-teaching on Biblical Eldership. We have a group of 5 who are diligently undertaking this challenging study and who are excelling in the Scripture memorization assignments.  Our prayer is that a couple of the students who show an understanding of and calling to the important work of caring for Christ’s flock. (Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,which he obtained with his own blood.)

Also, during the month of October, we will be having our third annual Ladies’ Day event, with the partnership of Madision Christian Church. A team of 11 will be here to host three separate 1-day events for the women of Iglesia Cristiana El Camino de La Vida. Please be praying for the teaching and testimonies that will be shared. The theme of the event is taken from the book of Colossians; each woman who attends will be given a Colossians study book and will be challenged to invest time digging into the rich truths that Paul shared with the church at Colossae.

Travels

Pastor Melvin and I will be making a five hour road trip to Chichigalpa, Nicaragua (Isn’t that fun to say? Chi-chi-gal-pa) where we have been invited to spend the weekend with a new pastor friend and his family. We both anticipate opportunities to preach God’s Word in the church there, and also likely on the air as we visit a Nicarguan radio station that has requested El Camino de La Vida programming.

In November, I will also be visiting Carpinteria Redeemer Church in Carpinteria, California. I am very excited to reconnect with Pastor Ryan Reed, and hopefully encourage the fledging church to consider the Scriptural mandate of sending evangelists into Judea, Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.

Getting Involved

Scholarship Funds Needed

In the coming months, we plan to conduct multiple training conferences in El Renuevo, Casitas, Tegucigalpa, and also in La Paz, near Nixon’s home. In order to undertake these training conferences, there are invariably a number of costs such as fuel, books, study materials, and lunch for those who attend. Last year, we had two friends send in special “scholarships” to Spanish World Ministries that allowed us to offer ten conferences topics such as how to study the Bible, the Gospel of Luke, the book of John, and other texts. On average, we invested between $50 and $100 for each seminar. Would you consider making a special gift to help provide a fund for these conferences for 2014? We are asking that if you feel led, that you make your gift through the radio ministry, by sending a check to:

Spanish World Ministries
P.O. Box 542 Winona Lake, IN 46590

Just specify that your gift is for pastoral training in Honduras.

The Prayers of the Saints

This past week has been exceptionally difficult as we learned that my Mom´s cancer has spread to her bones and is evident in four vertebrae. At this point, the pressure on the spinal cord and sciatic nerve make it very painful for Mom and challenging for her to walk. She has begun radiation already, as well as a myriad of other medications. Please lift my Mom and Dad (Ron & Donna) up during this challenging season for them. In our absence, we are very grateful for the tangible expressions of Christ´s love that you show to my parents.

We would also ask for your wisdom in considering a leave of absence to permit us to spend Christmas with our families.

Thanks for your unconditional love, support, and fervent prayers that we might faithfully serve our Savior and proclaim His coming Kingdom in all that we do!

Lovingly,

Matthew & Jennifer

 

 

14 May / Casitas Projects

Author: Matthew
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It’s project time again here at Iglesia El Camino de la Vida! Thanks to the Ohio team that finished up the main church structure at Casitas in January, we have so much more usable space! We actually have 2 rooms/spaces that are currently not being utilized, except for storage. The first room is an area right off the new bathrooms and the second is the small house on the property that the 35+ kids used to meet in. (Now they worship and learn in a classroom triple the size!) So….what do we do with these “extra” spaces? Let me share the vision that we have for them.

First of all, the vision for the room off the bathrooms has been to create a nursery. We have quite a few babies and toddlers in Casitas, which we love! I see 3 main ways this nursery project will bless and grow our church:
1. It will provide a safe place for the women to leave their babies so they can worship with the church. Oftentimes the women choose to stay home instead of coming to church because it is too difficult for them to listen while taking care of their little ones. Our desire is for those moms and grandmas to come hear God’s Word and fellowship with others in the body!
2. It will provide a nurturing environment for those babies and toddlers to hear the gospel at their level. We will give a short training to all ladies who will be taking care of the little ones, to encourage them to be intentional about reading Scripture to them, teaching them Bible songs, etc.
3. It will provide a way for the women of the church to serve one another. This is so important as we grow closer to Christ – serving as His hands and feet. The people of Casitas serve when teams come, but unfortunately there are not many opportunities for them to get involved in the weekly service. Taking turns caring for and teaching the babies is a concrete way the women can serve other moms/grandmas and the church as a whole.
Here’s a top view of the room that will be the nursery. It now has a roof, of course!
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As for that little house that the kids used to pack into like sardines? Our hope is to create a library which will be open after school a few days a week! There are great benefits to this library project as well:
1. The kids from church will have a safe place to go after school, being involved in healthy activities and hopefully keeping them out of trouble.
2. We hope that they will develop a love for reading! If they love to read, then they will improve their reading skills, which improves their confidence. Of course, this will help them in school as they prepare for adulthood, but it also will give them more confidence to read God’s Word.
3. Bringing neighborhood kids, or even adults, to the library could be a way to share Christ’s love with them and possibly motivate them to visit our church.
4. Again, it would provide more service opportunities for the members of the church. Josúe will open the library and be in charge, and eventually, we hope other members of the church can get involved.
And here’s that little house that will soon be a library!
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Exciting, isn’t it?
Some friends of ours are coming at the end of June and our goal is to work on and complete the nursery. If you feel led to be a part of it, would you consider “purchasing” one of the items below?
Nursery (About $1000 total):
paint for the walls/paint brushes
2 cribs with mattresses and/or pack and plays
4 sheets and blankets
changing table/dresser/storage unit
rocking chair
foam play pads for floor
Spanish kids’ Bible
other kids’ books in Spanish
a few toys
diapers
wipes
hand sanitizer
disinfectant
Then we hope to start and finish the library with the team that comes in July. If you would like to donate towards that instead, here is the list of materials below:
Library (About $700, not including books):
paint
bookshelves
labels/stamp
desk/chair
small tables/chairs
bean bags
posters/wall hangings
new lights
whiteboard/markers
board games
BOOKS!
You can also directly purchase Spanish books for the library, which would be a GREAT help! I have started a wishlist on Amazon (called “Library for Honduras”), which gives lots of fantastic ideas. However, many times the dollar stores, Costco, Marshalls – lots of places! – will have kids’ books in Spanish for good prices! Here’s the link to the wishlist and then we can get them down when friends/teams come.
Thank you for your participation in these projects! Our prayer is that they will bless the Casitas church and provide more resources for the people to grow in faith and godliness.
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Author: Matthew
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The day after the team from Memphis left, we headed to the US of A for a mini-“service leave”. We were all looking forward to some down time with family, lots of time with friends, and some great all-American food! But as it turns out, the Lord allowed us to go back to the states for more than the needed rest and re-connection with our churches & supporters. More on that in future posts.

Our first week in Illinois was spent largely with Ron & Donna, my in-laws, and Rachel & Shane, my sister-in-law and her husband, who flew up from Texas. It was so great to have the whole family together! However, it was during this time that we discovered that my wonderful mother-in-law needed an emergency surgery to remove a very large lump. It all came up us rather suddenly and unexpectedly, and of course, all of our emotions were on a roller-coaster waiting for the diagnosis from the biopsy. Long story short, after many more days and tests, the doctors confirmed that Donna/Mom has breast cancer.

This was definitely a blow to us all and it made it much more difficult to leave once the time came. Yet, I have seen the Lord’s gracious hand in all of this so far. He always has been so faithful and good, I know we have no reason to doubt that even now. For one, He allowed us all to physically be together for the first few weeks of this discovery. I praise Him because He gave inexplicable peace in the midst of news that was devastating to hear. Also, it appears that the cancer is not as aggressive as we had originally thought, and it hasn’t spread all over. We have many reasons to thank the Lord.

Clearly, we covet your prayers as well. Mom has now begun chemo and many of you know personally of the awful side affects and how drastically life changes with this treatment. Please pray that Mom will be uplifted and strengthened throughout this process. Pray that she responds as well as she can to the chemo, that ultimately, the Lord will heal her of this disease. Pray that she and Ron will be unified and that their relationship with one another and with the Lord will be deepened.

I must admit that it is not easy to be more than 5,000 miles away from Mom right now. I want to be there to walk through this with her, to hold her hand, to cry with her and to encourage her to press on. Yet I know that the Lord has us in Honduras, even now. He has placed people around Mom that will be a support for her. I am grateful for that. And we have to be obedient to what He has called us to. The most important thing we can do now is pray.

In addition to time in Illinois, we also visited friends in Minnesota, Indiana, and Ohio. In Ohio, we had a good time with our family and Samuel and Simon’s birthdays with Grandpa Ken and Connie.

We arrived back in Honduras on August 21st with a renewed enthusiasm to invest in the lives of our friends here. We are grateful for friends who support us and lift us in prayer in our work here.